Girl Scouts Gets Game Creation Merit Badge

Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles and Women in Games International have announced they are working together to create a badge for programing and creating video games. The Boy Scouts already have a similar badge.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a STEM-aligned video game badge for the Girl Scouts of the United States of America,” said Amy Allison, vice president at WIGI. “Creating this badge will get young girls excited in technology and science and let them know that they, too, can have a career in the video game industry.”

“Girl Scouts has a long history of developing pioneers in the fields of science and technology, so we are excited about collaborating with Women in Games International to ignite girls’ interests in STEM-related subjects,” said GSGLA Chief Executive Officer Lise Luttgens.

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Facebook Home Headed To iOS

Facebook indicated that features from its new Home software, currently built for Android, are coming to iPhone. While the Facebook software for Android takes over smartphone home and lock screens, the version for iPhones requires users to click into the social network’s mobile application.

“Home was about our ability to demonstrate what you can do when you own the whole experience,” said Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer. “We are working closely with Apple; with Microsoft, with everyone to try to get as good a Facebook people-first experience as you can across all devices.”

“We have a great relationship with Apple,” added Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Google is aware of what we are doing; we have talked to them… We are committed to doing our best on every platform.”

Source: AFP {link no longer active}

Shin Megami Tensei IV Nets Special Edition

Atlus announced that they will include Special Edition features for the first printing Shin Megami Tensei IV. This will include a 176-page strategy & design book featuring walkthroughs, charts, maps, tips along with full-color pages of artwork ranging from concept art to in-game pieces to never-used designs from character designer Masayuki Doi.

There will also be a Shin Megami Tensei Music Collection with a collection of tracks specially selected from across the 20-plus-year history of the Shin Megami Tensei series, with a special recording exclusive to the Music Collection CD. Finally, Shin Megami Tensei IV will have Collectible Slipcase Packaging  featuring full-color key art designed by Masayuki Doi and depicting the divergent paths of law and chaos for the samurai.

Shin Megami Tensei IV will launch on 3DS on July 16 for $50.

Gearbox Software Claims Homeworld

Gearbox Software has announced its purchase of THQ’s Homeworld franchise for $1.35 million, pending court approval in late May. Other bidders for the property included Stardock and Paradox Interactive, who were second and third in the bidding for the IP respectively.

“Gearbox Software has prevailed as the highest bidder in the acquisition of the Homeworld franchise from THQ. Brian Martel, Gearbox Software’s Chief Creative Officer, has great love and respect for Relic’s brilliant, fun and innovative game and personally spearheaded the acquisition,” wrote Gearbox PR man Chris Faylor. “Brian intends as first priority to direct Gearbox’s interest to preserve and assemble the purest form of the original acclaimed and beloved games, Homeworld and Homeworld 2, with the intent of making them accessible on today’s leading digital platforms.”


Facebook Advertisers Object To Links On Offensive Pages

People talk about all sorts of topics, including dark and sarcastic things (and sometimes dark things in a sarcastic fashion) on Facebook. Ads appear during whatever post people are making, and that’s upsetting some of Facebook’s ad partners.

The charities Shelter and RSPB, Vodafone, Dove Cosmetics, and the audiobook site Audible have complained that their ads consistently appears with group pages about rape. It’s not the first time Facebook has been criticized for failing to remove graphic material quickly, despite making $1.33 billion in ads just the last quarter.

The RSPB contacted Facebook after its adverts appeared on a page called “Indian girls”, as did those from Audible. The charity in a statement said, “Unless they can assure us that they are working out a way to guarantee this kind of thing doesn’t continue, we will be forced to consider our advertising options.”

“If advertising on Facebook means your ad could appear on hundreds of rape pages, advertisers should consider that very carefully indeed,” said Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project.

Facebook claims that adverts on its site are targeted towards individual users, not towards pages. The social network says it looks to remove offensive material deemed to be “genuinely or directly harmful” as quick as it can.


Project X Zone Limited Edition Announcement

Namco Bandai has announced that Project X Zone has a release date for the U.S. in June. The tactical RPG brawler for 3DS combines over 50 characters from Capcom, Sega and Namco.

Additionally, the company announced that those who purchase the game at launch for $39.99 will receive the Limited Edition at no extra cost. The Limited Edition comes with a mini art book, poster and CD.

Saints Row Like ‘The Hangover’ Of Games, Says Volition Producer

The Saints Row franchise has developed something of an infamous reputation for over-the-top sophomoric humor. Despite some occasional criticism over the tone, Volition senior producer Jim Boon thinks that the game’s loopy nature benefits it far more than it may hurt.

“Ultimately I don’t think that Saint Row‘s tone gets in the way of bigger sales,” said Boon. “If anything, I think our tone is an element of our success. Saints Row is quite unlike anything else out there, and I think gamers crave unique experiences – I know I do. We have a lot of passionate fans that love Saints Row, so I think we are striking the right chord.”

“Based on the overall reception and sales of SR3, I strongly suspect many people enjoy this aspect of SR, even if some may not want to admit feeling that way. Thinking of a movie series like The Hangover – people love the humor but you might not want to discuss some of the finer moments of those movies with your mom, for example.”

Source: OXM